Safety Alert: Apartment Break-In Protection

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News 12 First at Five, June 20, 2007

AUGUSTA, GA--Neighbors in an Augusta apartment complex are on alert. They say someone tried to break into several units in Stevens Creek Commons on Stevens Creek Road. News 12 is on your side with how to protect your apartment.

Apartment buildings are a little different than houses, because security is mostly up to the landlord. The key is to make sure they have your safety in mind.

Signs are posted, warning neighbors like Tiel Sanders to be aware.

"Unfortunately I think it's everywhere you go, you just have to be careful." She said.

Now, she's being extra careful. The flyers say people tried to break into two units close to hers. Lt. Tony Walden says it can happen anywhere, so here is what you need to know.

"Certain things you have to look at before you even move in." He said.

The first thing to remember is check to see if the apartment lets you have you're own alarm system.

Also, investigators say burglars usually break in on the ground level. Other things to look for: Is there a security guard on site? Is the community gated? And, is there a breezeway between your front door and the outside?

Finally, call the Sheriff's Department to find out if it's a good area or not. Lt. Walden says while all these things can help, it's no guarantee.

"None of them is immune to crime, regardless of where they're at." He said.

That's why Tiel is glad her community is coming together, keeping an eye out for crime, and reminding everyone they should always be ready.

"I am careful, I watch out for my surroundings, and I do what I'm supposed to do." Tiel said.

Investigators say apartment break-ins are not as common. That's because there are more people nearby who could possibly see the burglar, and many of the complexes have those security features. But , the sheriff's department still gets reports every week. That's why they recommend renters insurance.

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